Help sleeping/coping techniques

Jodie123Jodie123 Member Posts: 14
edited September 2016 in Newly diagnosed
Hi All. I am currently 2 weeks post op for mastectomy and reconstruction using own tissue after DCIS diagnosis. Everything has happened so incredibly quickly. As much as I thought I was prepared for everything that was going on have been totally rocked emotionally by everything that has happened. Has anyone got any suggestions as to coping strategies for sleep. I find this is when I struggle the most. I don't regret the operation at all and have been really happy with the out come. Just feel totally unprepared for the emotional roller lasted that has been the last few weeks and just need to take back some control over my life. Thanks in advance. 


  • primekprimek Broken HillMember Posts: 4,301
    Watch your caffeine intake after lunch. Try not to Google and read to much before bed...often gets the head spinning. Go to bed when tired...not before. Sleep in if you need to. Have adequate pain relief and lots of pillows. Really it's  just a part of the journey we have to get through. Things will get better. Take Care. Kath x
  • MiraMira I live in my computer .... Member Posts: 409
    Hi Jodie,
    I find meditation helps when my mind is racing and I cant sleep.  I have downloaded some from onto my ipod and keep it next to my bed for those times when I need it.

  • Jodie123Jodie123 Member Posts: 14
    Thanks heaps for the feedback Kath and Mira.  I have been really struggling to keep it together.  Was in a good place with everything prior to operation but have been struggling to sleep since which I don't think has helped the situation. Have done some meditation and will certainly try out your suggestion. Hope all goes well for your recovery.    
  • BluewrenBluewren Member Posts: 91
    Hi Jodie,  can totally relate as I am nearly four weeks post right mastectomy and the night before last I couldn't believe I slept right through the night.Wondered if it was a Milo before bed but I was pretty happy. It will get better and you will be surprised at what difference even a  week makes. last week I couldn't bear too much over my skin it was so sensitive.Sleep on my back and left side at times but not right side yet. First few weeks always slept with my pink silk pillow helping my right side. Medication before bed and lots of pillows does help. Good luck with your recovery and sending hugs x
  • Jodie123Jodie123 Member Posts: 14
    Thanks blue wren. I hope all is going well with your recovery. 
  • InkPetalInkPetal You are valuable, beautiful, extraordinary.Member Posts: 487
    I only had 1/4 the breast taken but the pain and all the rest of that mess in the first couple of months resulted in a lot of lost sleep for me, partially because my mind would roll everything over and I didn't seem to be able to stop the thinking.  I found that listening to soft instrumental music helped quiet the noise. I'd make sure I had left time for painkillers to have started working before I even tried to sleep and had a few extra propping pillows on hand for the inevitable tossing.

    Have you spoken about this with your GP? If it's driving you totally nuts it might be worth getting a sleep aid. Hope you're sleeping well right this minute!
  • Ann-MarieAnn-Marie Member Posts: 1,158
    @Jodie123 I wanted to share this resource with you from our website - Sleepless nights.
  • huelehuele Member Posts: 16
    Hi Jodie, hope this finds you better. I too was unprepared for sleeping problems. For several weeks post mastectomy & recon, on and off, I could not sleep. It becames a vicious cycle of unable to settle & increasing irritation.
    Various things helped on different nights... slow/dragged out breathing, different pillows, different bed/room, background music/TV, hot chocolate, audio books and long walks.
    Good news is that it gets better as the weeks go by.
    All the best, Hue
  • Jodie123Jodie123 Member Posts: 14
    Thanks Hue and Ann-Marie for the feedback.  Will certainly try some of the suggestions.  Have only just joined the site despite and have been amazed by the support shown by everyone. Certainly has given me perspective and renewed hope that this is just temporary and I will come out the other end.  Thanks again for the support.
  • NadiNadi Member Posts: 558
    My doctor suggested to take phenergan an antihistamine which is available from the chemist  to help me break a cycle of sleeplessness  when I complained about the hot flushes that were keeping me up every night. Knocks me out every time. She told me it's not addictive. It can leave you drowsy the next day so I started off on a very low dose. I only use it now and then and not every night.
  • Jodie123Jodie123 Member Posts: 14
    Thanks for the tip Nadi.  Might give that a go.   Just really need to break the cycle at this stage.  Cant function without sleep and I dont want to start to rely on sleeping tablets. Seem to wake up at the same time each night, hopefully this breaks the habit.  Wishing you all the best with your health.
  • primekprimek Broken HillMember Posts: 4,301
    I use phenergan for migraines as well,  as it has anti nausea adpects as well as sleep help. You get really good sleep for about 2 days. Avoid driving on it if you can though.
  • Jodie123Jodie123 Member Posts: 14
    Thanks for the heads up. Will keep in mind. Best of Luck
  • SoldierCrabSoldierCrab Bathurst NSW Member Posts: 2,379
    I downloaded a great app called white noise it has different sounds and I went through them one by one and worked out which ones worked for me. 
    I also got a great CD called Sleep by Petrea King
  • iserbrowniserbrown Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 2,461
    Hi!  Hope you have been able to sleep a little better since you first wrote this post.  Don't beat yourself up it is not unusual.  I found once I had surgery my thoughts were along the lines of hang on, what happened, how did I get here and where am I going now?  I am a fairly practical person so soon put my thoughts where they belonged and occasionally they come out to haunt me, even now after 3 surgeries, treatment, which is ongoing and 15 months since diagnosis.
    What helps me, I have always had a radio to listen to when I head to bed, sometimes I hear 2 minutes and other times the hour disappears and it goes off and I think where did that hour go!  I do enjoy a hot chocolate before bed, a routine I've had for awhile, Ovaltine Light Break is what I enjoy and that certainly helps!
    It's about finding a new normal and being comfortable with it and rolling along.
    Wishing you all the best for treatment and a smooth ride on this roller coaster we are all on. 
    Sending you a virtual hug from Christine xx
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